At the age of 16 years, I'd never had a boyfriend, but longed for my first encounter. I applied to transfer to the local high school. However, at my interview, the head teacher advised me to forget about further education because I obviously wasn't interested. He was right. At 5'10", I'd trained as a model and wore the latest trends. Can you imagine a teacher giving this recommendation these days?
Anyway, I landed a job at a receptionist job at an advertising agency. My tasks were answering the phone and passing on messages. I can't remember doing anything else. There might have been filing tasks. My grandmother, who worked as a deputy-head for a private school, made me delicious rye bread sandwiches with sour pickle for lunch.
The Glenelg tram took me on the 20 minute journey to and from work. The excitement of the venture never wore off. Those trams, with their timber bench-type seats, walnut paneling and brass fixtures, were splendid examples of Victorian engineering. They smelled of tobacco smoke and old oil.
After six months, my employer decided I would be better suited to something else and passed me on to his friend in the Adelaide Hills, where I worked as a doctor's receptionist for about a year.
On thinking back, I was intelligent, bright and personable, but completely lacking in the desire to learn—stubborn and self-motivated with a drop-out teenager mentality. Supported by a doting mother, I simply loved life and gave no thought to the future. Self-confidence, a belief in God, and a desire to remain true to positive principles, steered me through potential pitfalls.
I went on to experience amazing things, meet people from all walks of life, travel the world, live in different countries, work in many jobs and finally, write—poetry, songs and novels. You can see the four published books at the bottom of the page. Five more will be released in due time.
Perhaps my reminiscences will help you understand why some teenagers are seemingly dopey. Don't give up on them. Life offers a purpose that is sometimes hidden during these formative years.